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January Newsletter

January Newsletter

by Mike Churchward -
Number of replies: 0

Welcome to a new year and a new decade. Here is your first newsletter of both!

January Town Halls

Our open town halls this month are:

  • 7 January 2020, 8am UTC
    Meeting link
    Topic: Peter Diedrich will present his organization’s use in Sweden of an Inline Manual to provide on-screen help and suggestions for teachers in Moodle.
    Moderators: Richard Samson 

  • 14 January 2020, 6pm UTC
    Meeting link
    Topic: TBA
    Moderators: Emma Richardson

Moodle 3.9 Project

The "Participants Page: Combining Filters" project’s SOW is being finalized. Once this has been approved and signed, it is anticipated that work will begin on this in the next few weeks.

For the "Course Copy User Interface" project, we will be utilizing a new development strategy for the MUA. In order to ease the load on HQ developers for the 3.9 cycle, an outside development team will be contracted to build the code for this project, and then work with the HQ integration team to bring it into 3.9.

Moodle 4.0 Projects

Voting is underway for the 4.0 development cycle. The field of eligible projects is as follows:

  1. Focus on the Grading Workflows for Instructors
  2. Provide an access rule and secure layout for the assignment activity
  3. Make Moodle group messaging practical for teachers and students
  4. Provide a built-in "Download all …“ routine in core and address it for a functionality for students (and more)
  5. Display new forum posts indicator on dashboard
  6. ChemJax Filter V2: Moodle Association of Japan Best Innovations Winner - 2017&2018
  7. Overwrite standard Moodle mod icons
  8. Better "Each attempt builds on last" quizzes

Please exercise your democratic rights and vote for the project you would like to see implemented. Voting is scheduled to close at the end of this week (January 10).

Committee Member Update

Tiffan Mvula resigned from the committee in December, due to personal conflicts. We wish Tiffan well in his future endeavours.

To fill Tiffan’s spot, Amy Tessitore has stepped up and joined the committee. Amy had previously put her name forward and it was great to be able to welcome Amy as our newest committee member.

Website Upgrade

The website upgrade is continuing. We hope to release the newly upgraded and branded website this month.

And finally...
Town Hall Discussions

Both of the December Town Hall meetings became constructive discussions about how the MUA can accelerate development in Moodle. Much of the discussion revolved around how the MUA projects can better reflect what the roadmap plans for Moodle are, and how to be a part of that roadmap. It became obvious in both meetings that the attendees wanted to help define what is on that roadmap by representing the community at large’s interests. And that by being a part of that, they could help better shape the MUA proposals to synergize with the roadmap.

It was exciting to hear the passion for open source and the ideas of how to generate more targeted resources. This is timely, as HQ has announced at the Global Moodlemoot that they intend to put more focus on the roadmap and community involvement. This provides an opportunity for the MUA to be a key figure in this.

Some other specific ideas that came out of these meetings included setting up community workgroups to focus on specific interests within Moodle, such as UX, Instructor Workflows, Grading, etc. It would be great to hear more input from the membership on these ideas, and how they might be implemented. Please use the forums to discuss new ideas.

Some other ideas that came up included sponsoring most voted tracker items, crowd funding larger projects, and sponsoring plugin maintenance. All of these are great ideas, and we need members to begin these discussions to help make them feasible. Please keep contributing!

And finally, much discussion surrounded future development cycles, including the soon to be started 4.1 cycle. Should our projects be focussed on a specific theme, or wide open? Ideas surrounded a tracker bug fix cycle, a tracker feature request cycle, focus on small projects, focus on large projects, and focus on a theme like UX or workflows. All great ideas but we need your thoughts and brainstorming to determine the best course.

Happy 2020!